Presidents and Cars: Our Picks for the Coolest Rides

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Taking a trip down presidential memory lane has never been so fun.

Long before head of states were cruising around in bullet and bomb proof limousines and armor plated Hummers, a few future U.S. Presidents had some really cool rides. Always a hot topic, Presidents and their cars dates all the way back to William Taft (1909-1913) when he parked his Baker Electric at the White House. It is often said that what one chooses to drive says a lot about their personality and U.S. presidents are certainly no exception.

Whether you love him or hate him, William Jefferson Blythe III (Better known as Bill Clinton) (1993-2001) was one of the cooler U.S. Presidents. He also owned a 1967 Mustang Convertible. Back in 1967 Ford unveiled their first major redesign of the car and most notable was the car's larger appearance and additional power offerings such as the 390-cubic-inch 6.4L V-8 motor. President Clinton's 1967 Mustang convertible is now on display at The Museum of Automobiles located in Morrilton, Ark.

Speaking of cool, how about John F. Kennedy's (1960-1963) 1961 Ford Thunderbird Convertible. If anyone is old enough to remember or is an expert on the T-Bird, this was the first year for the much sleeker "Bullet Bird" styling. This featured a pointed nose and rocket-ship lines, terminating with twin jet exhaust-like round taillights with fins above. Unlike the Corvette, the Thunderbird was never a full-blown sporting vehicle; Ford's description was a personal luxury car and the company essentially created this market segment.

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While better known as the man who led U.S. forces to victory in World War II and one of the most popular 20th century Presidents, Dwight "Ike" D. Eisenhower (1953-1961) also happened to own a 1956 Chrysler Imperial. The 1956 Chrysler was updated with the new 1956 "Forward Look" styling and had a wheelbase of 133.0 inches (3,378 mm), longer than the previous year's by 3.0 inches (76 mm), which would become the longest wheelbase ever for an Imperial. This particular model was a favorite of the President and was used so often it earned the nickname "The Detroit Car."

Richard "I am not a crook" Nixon is an iconic figure amongst U.S. Presidents, but long before he became the first president to resign from office in 1974, President Nixon (1969-1974) was the proud owner of a 1950 Oldsmobile. The Oldsmobile's Rocket V8 engine was an industry leader in performance and generally regarded as the fastest on the market during that time. Nixon would later refer to his trusty 1950 Oldsmobile 98 in the infamous "Checkers" speech, which was made to refute his acceptance of illegal campaign contributions.

Rounding out our list would not be complete without FDR's Packard 12. Some of the most memorable photos taken of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945) are of him smiling from the seat of this legendary vehicle. In the 1920s and 30s, Packard produced a few of the most innovative and beautiful cars ever seen in that era. Packard's V12 engine provided an exceptional blend of power and smooth performance. The car, which was retrofitted with bullet-proof armor and glass, became the first armored car used by a sitting U.S. president.

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